You Are at Wells Dam - Pateros, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 47° 56.988 W 119° 52.547
11T E 285280 N 5314722
Quick Description: Rated at 840 megawatts, Wells Dam has one tenth the generating capacity of Grand Coulee Dam, the largest on the Columbia and the largest in the country, but is a fairly large operation, nonetheless.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 1/31/2019 4:05:26 PM
Waymark Code: WM1005V
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Tuena
Views: 2

Long Description:
This UR Here map is inside Wells Overlook Park, part of the visitor centre at the dam, provided to acquaint the public with the dam and its recreational opportunities. The map points out both points of interest and recreational site in the area from well north of the Town of Brewster, to the north, to well south of the dam.

Owned and operated by the Douglas County Public Utility District (PUD), wells dam came online on August 22, 1967. In the powerhouse are 10 generating units, each with a capacity of about 85 megawatts. The dam is a concrete gravity dam spanning 4,460 feet across the Columbia River about midway between Chelan, WA, to the south and Pateros, WA, to the north. Wells dam is one of fourteen dams which interrupt the flow of the Columbia while providing flood control, irrigation water, electricity and myriad recreational facilities.

At times of extraordinarily high flow in the Columbia the dam's spillway openings are capable of passing 8,800,000 gallons of water per second. While considered a run of the river dam, the section of the Columbia River impounded behind the dam forms Lake Pateros which stretches at least twenty miles upstream, past the town of Pateros.

The dam was built with a fish ladder to provide a means of passage for several species of fish which inhabit the river. As well, a hatchery was constructed at the dam at the time of the dam's completion. Currently, annual production at the Wells Fish Hatchery consists of 408,000 yearling steelhead, 804,000 summer Chinook, 5,000 juvenile white sturgeon, and 20,000 pounds of trout, kokanee and landlocked Chinook.

At the dam is a visitor area and viewpoint with restrooms and signage relating technical information for the dam, as well as historical information relating to the area. A large turbine runner, replaced with a more efficient design in the late 1980s, is also on display. Unfortunately, good access to the dam for photography isn't allowed, so good views of the dam and powerhouses won't accompany this Waymark.

Wells Dam

The Wells Hydroelectric Project is the chief generating resource for the Douglas County PUD, the Project's owner and operator. Wells produced its first commercial generation on August 22, 1967.

The Wells project has ten generating units rated at a combined 840 megawatts. Eleven gated spillway openings can pass a flood of over 8,800,000 gallons of water per second. In 1990, Douglas PUD completed installation of modern high efficiency replacement turbine runners on all ten units. The hydrocombine structure is 1,165 feet in length and the dam is 4,460 feet long overall. ?The unique hydrocombine design incorporates the powerhouse, spillway, switchyard and fish facilities into one unit instead of separate structures.

Entities receiving power from Wells Dam along with Douglas PUD include Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation, Puget Sound Energy, Portland General Electric Company, PacifiCorp, Avista Corporation and the Okanogan County Public Utility District.

Safe Fish Passage
The Wells Project was built with fish ladders like you see here on both ends of the Dam. Adult salmon and steelhead migrating upstream locate the ladders as they travel along the shoreline. One of the ladders is equipped with a trapping mechanism to aid biologists in their study and enhanced propagation of the fish. During the 1980s, Douglas County PUD developed a system to guide young salmon and steelhead away from moving turbines and safely through Wells Dam.

Wells Hatchery
The Wells Hatchery is dedicated to the production of steelhead and summer Chinook for enhancement of natural production and to provide harvest opportunities, white sturgeon for a restoration program, and trout, kokanee and land locked Chinook to provide recreational fishing opportunities in regional waters. Wells Hatchery was constructed by Douglas PUD in 1967 and is adjacent to the Wells Hydroelectric Project.
From the Douglas County PUD


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Location Name: Wells Overlook Park - Wells Dam

Visit Instructions:

A photo of either you or your GPS at the site is welcomed but not required.
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